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So I hit the road this week again with the Cubs, and if you guessed that’s why they lost their first series in a while, you’re almost certainly right. Still, a winning Cubs team at AT&T Park didn’t seem like a thing to be missed, as there’s no better place to go. So off I went.
I didn’t know what to expect when I got there. On the one hand, the Giants have won three of the past five World Series, and judging on my own obnoxiousness about our very own Blackhawks who have done just about the same thing, I thought it might be a rough ride in a visiting park. On the other, this is still California, where fans just can’t muster up the passion that we do here in the Midwest, because it’s too fucking cold to do anything else. They have so much else to worry about.
Overall, the reception was very on the warm side (except for one uncreative asshole on the Thursday whom my friends and I shut down in quick and thorough fashion to the delight of everyone around him). It felt like Giants fans are just in a constant state of euphoria, and why wouldn’t they be? If we get to be so lucky in the next decade we would be to. Hell, I might not even hate Cardinals fans if that happened (I totally still will). So the sight of a lot of opposing fans, as the Cubs travel very well these days, didn’t seem to knock them off their stride. Three banners and perhaps the best ballpark in the country sure seems to calm a lot of nerves.
Overall, it almost felt like the Giants fans were as curious to see the Cubs as we are. I think what I heard most from Giants fans was, “You guys are having a hell of a year!” We’re not the only ones who want to see the array of kids inflicting damage apparently. When you’re in the bubble here, and swear off watching ESPN or something, you don’t realize how much of a national story the Cubs have become. But I guess I should have. Any other team that puts up a 21-4 streak would be national news. When the Cubs do it, it’s like the baseball world stops. That’s how deep my euphoria went this month. I didn’t even notice that the rest of the nation was taking notice.
It’s a new experience following the Cubs around this season. It almost feels like you’re following a band. Not like the Dead, because the Cubs are actually cool and entertaining. But the roadshow feel is definitely back. It’s more like following around Sabbath, let’s say. And lately, the Cubs have been melting as many faces off as Sabbath did back in the day. Maybe they should make tour shirts. Perhaps save that one for when they actually win the Series, I guess.
Despite the two losses, it was a trip well worth it. If you haven’t been to San Francisco for a game (and you can sacrifice the live animals to afford to stay there for a couple days, which is why I stayed in Oakland near my friends), you really should do it. The views from the park are immaculate, the sightlines are all great. The beer is certainly expensive and there aren’t any vendors, which is a real bitch. But the food is nearing Comiskey-level good. There are a ton of bars within walking distance and a lot of them have none of the bro-y, yahoo element like the ones around Wrigley. We know we’re spoiled with Wrigley but AT&T is certainly one that matches up.
–So I have a bit of a dilemma coming up. I’m sure a lot of you, like my season ticket group, got notices for playoff invoices lately. I’m sure you’re just as excited as I am.
But it provides a conundrum for sure. There are seven of us, and we’re having a draft for the first two rounds, including the wild card game, even though that’s highly unlikely to be here. So what do you do if you have the top pick? Do you go for broke and pick a possible World Series clincher, knowing it’s more likely you won’t see a playoff game at all? Or do you go for the sure thing and pick the Divisional Game 3, knowing you might have to pass up being there for THAT MOMENT? Honestly, I’ve been thinking about this since 10 minutes after the Hawks parade was over. I sure hope I don’t get the first pick, it’d be easier to have some of the decision taken out of my hands. It’s been driving me nuts.
Perhaps the answer is that you get whatever playoff games you can and then try and land other tickets in the general sale. I think it’s the only answer. Especially with our group, where any World Series would be met with a policy of all holders getting one ticket ot one game, meaning we’d all see a game with someone we don’t know. Not sure how I feel about that. But I sure hope it’s a problem I have to solve, that’s for sure.